603.868.3212    |              |    Emergency Service

Customer testimonial for PFAS contamination in well water – Portsmouth, NH

Our customer in Portsmouth, NH recently found that they had elevated levels of PFAS in their well water. Like a good neighbor, they informed the other members of their community. Some of them discovered no PFAS but others found that they had treatable levels of PFAS in their well water.

As water quality professionals, we helped guide this neighborhood through the process of PFAS Testing, PFAS treatment design/installation, and accessing state funded rebates for NH wells contaminated by PFAS.

Here is a Google review from one of those neighbors we partnered with.

“Advanced pump and filters are true professionals from the top down. Recently I learned about elevated levels of PFAS in my water. They quickly informed me of all my options and provided me with the information for each option. Once I made my selection the new system was installed quickly and very efficiently. I have used them for water testing and now several full home systems and I have been nothing but impressed. Excellent company!” -TJ Berky

Thank you for sharing your experience, TJ!

If you have any questions about PFAS testing, please give us a call at 603-868-3212.


EPA Finalizes Drinking Water Standard for PFAS

“On April 10, 2024, EPA announced the final National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six PFAS. To inform the final rule, EPA evaluated over 120,000 comments submitted by the public on the rule proposal, as well as considered input received during multiple consultations and stakeholder engagement activities held both prior to and following the proposed rule. EPA expects that over many years the final rule will prevent PFAS exposure in drinking water for approximately 100 million people, prevent thousands of deaths, and reduce tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses.

EPA is also making unprecedented funding available to help ensure that all people have clean and safe water. In addition to today’s final rule, $1 billion in newly available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help states and territories implement PFAS testing and treatment at public water systems and to help owners of private wells address PFAS contamination.”

If your interested in learning about PFAS testing & treatment, give us a call at 603-868-3212.


An outstanding customer testimonial for Advance Pump & Filter Co.

At Advance Pump & Filter Co., we strive to provide our community with quality water solutions by means of top notch water treatment technology and exceptional service. We are fortunate to have a phenomenal team that works exceptionally hard and every once in a while we get a review that validates our efforts. JP is a new customer and he wanted to share his experience with his greater community.

“Need to share a great experience I recently had with Advance Pump and Filter in Lee, NH….

I bought a home in a neighboring town about 5 years ago…. never had a well or water softening system. After five years with no issues, I noticed my water softener system making some funny noises. I drive by Advance Pump and Filter on Route 125 in Lee, NH almost everyday so thought I would give them a call to come and have a look.

A charming woman answered with a genuine smile in her voice and proceeded to educate, inform, and inquire of my well, pump, and filtering needs. I was so impressed with the way she managed our conversation, I made it a point to share my utter enjoyment of our conversation with “Sarah.” I’ve spent a number of years in a successful sales role building relationships and serving my customers… Sarah should give a class on customer experience. We scheduled my appointment, she explained everything clearly and set exact expectations.

The service team arrived when they said they would, provided me with options (none of which felt like an aggressive sales pitch) and I promptly requested that we schedule the work. The team called a couple days ahead of my appointment to ask if they could come early! I agreed of course.

The team arrived on time, completed their work promptly, cleaned up, removed my old equipment and were extremely courteous and professional. My wife was crazy impressed with Advance Pump and Filter from Lee, NH that she asked me if we could be permanent customers… I naturally agreed.

Bravo Sarah, Cathy and the service people who were all AWESOME. Yes, we are now permanent customs and no I’m not related to anyone there (LOL) or was a paid to write this review.

I am also a small, locally owned and operated business so really appreciate the way Advance Pump and Filter of Lee treated us. If you need well, pump, or filtering support, give these folks a call. I promise you will not be disappointed.

JP Gauthier Home Services”

Thank you for this testimonial JP. We look forward to work with you in the future!

Advance Pump & Filter Co. teams up with Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity

We are proud to partner with Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity to help provide a local family with clean, and safe drinking water.

As Habitat for Humanity was finishing up construction, we got a call from Doug (left in first picture) asking if we would want to work with them to test this family’s well water before they moved in. After getting the results back, we found that the well had elevated levels of iron, hardness, manganese, hydrogen sulfide odor (discovered during the evaluation), and arsenic. We then designed and installed a system that would be able to bring all of their levels to the acceptable limits.

We had a great experience working with Habitat for Humanity and feel fortunate to be able to provide clean and safe drinking water to another member of our community.


A Piece of Well Pump History

The crew pulled this piece of well pump history out of a well in Rochester, NH the other day!

At first we had no idea what it was until we called our resident well water historian, Butch, who informed us that it was an in well pressure bladder.
These were popular back in the day when homes were using a jet pump and didn’t have the proper environment for a standard pressure tank.

Butch says he hasn’t seen one of these in 15 years! You never know what your going to find when out on the job.

Advance Pump & Filter Co. selected as The Small But Mighty Business of the Month July 2022

A big thank you to The Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth for selecting Advance Pump & Filter Co. as The Small But Mighty Business for July 2022. We are proud to serve the greater Portsmouth community and look forward to continue doing mighty work as a small, family-owned business.

Below is the write up from The Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth:

Congratulations to Advance Pump & Filter Co. on their selection as our Small But MIGHTY Business of the Month for July 2022!

Advance Pump & Filter is a full-service N.H. water treatment and pump company. They are family operated and have been in business since 1977.

The team at Advance Pump & Filter takes pride in their honest and cost-effective solutions to water treatment and supply issues.

Advance Pump & Filter has won an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and and average YELP score of 5 out of 5 stars!

The team has give service trucks that are available 7 days a week scheduling appointments around their customer’s needs – including early morning arrivals.

Congratulations again to Advance Pump & Filter!

Photo coming soon.

🏆NOMINATE a small but MIGHTY business here: https://portsmouthchamber.org/small-business-of-the-month

The Holidays at APF: Fun, Togetherness, and Giving

WIN – WIN! On Friday afternoon, our team had a Holiday Event (hosted by Portsmouth Team Building) which was fun AND charitable. We started with some trivia games and discovered that Billy clearly has a hidden talent for “name that tune”. 🙂

Next, we divided into teams to navigate through a series of challenges to earn parts for building children’s bicycles which we will donate to charity. It was face paced, and fun. Ultimately Team Orange was the winner of the challenge (although Sean wants a recount!).

Truthfully, we all won since we are now able to donate three bicycles to the Lee Police Department holiday toy drive. Lastly, we had a wonderful dinner at Dante’s Pasta & Vino in Barrington. So delicious!

What to do about PFC’s in my home’s water?

News reports about PFC’s being discovered in both public and private wells at several locations well above the levels in the EPA’s Provisional Health Advisory have raised the level of concern among many home owners about the potential for such contaminants to be in their own wells. Recent reports of similar findings in surface waters and streams have heightened such concerns.

PFC’s, also referred to as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), include a number of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAA). Two of these, perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroctane sulfate (PFOS) occupy most of the media attention, and are the specific subject of the Health Advisory. PFC’s have the useful property of repelling water and oils, making them very appealing to various industries. They are found in such diverse products as stain-resistant carpet and fabrics, waterproofing for fabrics and leather, some non-stick surfaces, and fire-fighting foam.

Both PFOA and PFOS have been shown to be widely distributed in the environment. They are persistent and do not degrade easily; they are also water soluble and are commonly detected in drinking water sources. The pathways for PFC’s to reach groundwater sources are many, and the understanding of the subject is very much an emerging science. They are associated with numerous health effects in humans, and developmental effects in infants.

How do I know if these contaminants are in my water?

PFC’s are not detectable through ordinary senses: taste, odor, color. They must be identified through testing by a qualified laboratory. The relevant concentrations are extremely small, in parts per trillion; that’s about one nano-gram per liter of water (ng/l). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed Provisional Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS at 70 ppt total, and are currently developing Lifetime (chronic exposure) Advisories.

So, I ran the test and I have some in my water – what do I do (if anything)?

We subscribe generally to the idea that guidelines developed by the EPA, and by extension State agencies, represent the best resource available to the public for evaluating the health risks associated with various contaminants. We do not, as a practice, make recommendations to treat contaminants that do not exceed EPA guidelines.

That said, we recognize that the maximum contaminant levels (MCL’s) for most health related contaminants represent a risk/cost/benefit assessment, and not a point below which no threat exists. Our belief is that each home owner should consider all available sources of information and weigh the reliability of each one. Essentially, it is the homeowner’s decision as to what level of contaminant is acceptable to them, and we understand that some may want to treat even for very low levels considered under the EPA limit. We are fully prepared to provide solutions to treat the issue.

How can PFC’s be removed from my water?

The treatment industry has been exploring a wide array of treatment alternatives. The consensus (and our own view as well) is that for residential treatment applications, there are two approaches appropriate for most scenarios:

  • Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) is the go-to choice for both whole-house and point-of-use (drinking and cooking only) solutions. We follow the EPA/DES recommendation to use a pair of treatment vessels in series with a testing port between them to detect contaminant breakthrough while the second vessel is still effective. Size and specific choice of GAC type are application specific.
  • Reverse Osmosis Systems, which also include activated carbon elements in the treatment path, can be an option where there can be an additional collateral benefit, such as salt reduction, nitrate, or arsenic remediation.

So what’s the bottom line?

Any decision as to what to do about PFC’s in your water source has to start with the question “are they in there?” The tests involved are not inexpensive, so start by investigating whether your location is within a known contamination source or threatened by one. State resources, e.g. New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES), may have that information; in some cases they may provide the testing if you are part of an area they are monitoring.

If, however, you “just have to know” then by all means have the testing done. One cost effective source we have located is Absolute Resources in Portsmouth, NH.

If you uncover a situation that merits treatment, for reasons satisfactory to you, call us at 603-868-3212! We will be happy to evaluate it, and recommend a cost effective solution suited to your needs.

Advance Pump & Filter Co. 10 Calef Highway, Lee, NH 03861

Iron Water

Each water system is unique and has different needs. Please contact our office at 603-868-3212 with specific questions about your water delivery and filtration system.  

In the soils of New Hampshire and Maine, it is extremely common to find minerals that contain iron. Iron is the fourth most common element in the Earth’s crust , accounting for over 5% of its total mass. It makes sense that iron is present in many aquifers and explains why a lot of homeowners are seeing the negative effects of iron being present in their water. From unsightly orange staining to low water pressure, iron can be a real problem. Luckily, we have tried and true solutions to remedy your iron water problems.  

This article goes over:

  • Why iron is a problem
  • The two common forms of iron
  • Solutions for iron
  • 6 benefits of treating iron

The problem 

The minerals associated with iron are not considered toxic. It’s regulated under the National Secondary Drinking Water Regulation which is a guideline for dealing with contaminants that may cause cosmetic effects (such as skin, hair, or tooth discoloration), or aesthetic effects (such as taste, odor, and color). The recommended limit for iron is 0.3 mg/l because at 0.3 you’ll start to see the cosmetic aesthetic effects of iron. 

Here are a few of the problems that iron water in your home can cause:

  • Low water pressure due to iron build up in piping
  • Brittleness and orange discoloration of the hair
  • Orange staining in sinks, bathtubs and toilets
  • Discoloration of laundry
  • Decreased functionality of appliances and water fixtures
  • Metallic taste 

What are the two most common forms of iron found in well water?

We have been treating iron water in New Hampshire & Maine for over 43 years and we see homes that have a small amount of iron present in their water and we see homes that have so much iron that it looks like tomato soup coming out of their well. And the funny part is that these two situations can occur in the same neighborhood. It all depends on where your well is located in the aquifer.  

When considering forms of treatment we want to know what form of iron we are dealing with.  We want to know this because certain treatment methods work more effectively with specific forms of iron. 

Ferrous iron- Even water that runs clear out of your faucet can have iron present, in the form of Ferrous iron. It is invisible to the naked eye until it becomes oxidized by the air, or another form of oxidizer like a cleaning product. This is why you may not see an orange tinge in your running water but after you use the sink, toilet, or tub, the water that’s left behind and sticking to the tubs service through adhesion will eventually evaporate and leave behind the iron minerals which will turn orange through oxidation when exposed to the air. These left over oxidized minerals are what cause the orange staining in/on your fixtures.  

Ferric iron-  is oxidized iron, and as a result insoluble, meaning that it cannot be dissolved again. When we usually think of iron minerals in water we think of ferric iron. The water containing ferric iron is generally orange in color and you may be able to see actual iron chunks in it. 

Now, iron can be present in more forms than ferrous and ferric but for the sake of this article we’re just gonna to talk about these two forms. 

Solutions for iron

Filtering iron out of your well water can be a bit of a tricky process. Sometimes, it’s as simple as using a cartridge filter but most of the time we need more robust whole house systems to effectively treat iron. 

Two of the most common ways to remove iron is by using an aeration system, or a water softening system. We also find that some homes with high iron levels need a combination of treatment systems because we need pretreatment or post treatment to effectively, and efficiently treat the well water. Below are some examples of iron treatment systems. 

What are the 6 Benefits of removing iron from your well water? 

  • Better looking and tasting water
  • Eliminate the risk of pipes being clogged by iron
  • Protect hair from iron staining and brittleness
  • Dramatically decrease the amount of cleaning for toilets, tubs, and sinks
  • Softer and cleaner looking laundry
  • Increase the lifespan of appliances and water fixtures

Every water source is different and may require different forms of treatment especially when dealing with iron. We always recommend having an onsite evaluation and water test. If you have any questions about iron in your water, or water treatment, please give us a call at 603-868-3212.

Water Softener

Advance Smart Water Softener

Each water system is unique and has different needs. Please contact our office at 603-868-3212 with specific questions about your well and filtration system. 

An overwhelming 85% of the U.S.A. has hard water. The minerals that make up hard water are not considered toxic; that is, they do not cause harmful health effects but water hardness can cause major problems for your home and daily living. Humans had been living with the problems of hard water since the beginning of our relationship with water but it wasn’t until the early 1900’s when the “modern day” water softener was conceived. Water technology has significantly improved since then but the scientific thinking behind it has remained the same. 

This article will go over: 

  • What is a water softener is
  • What are the benefits of having a water softener
  • How does a water softener remove hardness from the water
  • How often should you be adding salt to the brine tank
  • Troubleshooting a water softener

What is a water softener?

 A water softener uses a cation exchange resin media to remove hardness from your water.  The beads are a plastic polymer material, specially formulated to grab on to specific chemical substances. The surface of the resin is pre-charged with salt ions. As hard water passes through the resin, the individual beads will release the salt ions and exchange them for the hardness ions. This process is called an ion exchange.

WQA Knowledge Base Diagram

  A water softening system features a fiberglass tank that holds the resin beads, a softening valve on top of the fiberglass tank that directs the flow of water, a riser tub with a collector/distributor that is connected to the valve and a brine tank that houses salt/brine solution. The brine solution is used to regenerate the resin beads. A system may also need pretreatment in order to protect the resin bed and ensure its effectiveness in removing water hardness.

What are the benefits of having a water softener?

  • Makes richer lather while bathing or showering
  • Reduces the amount of soap and synthetic detergents used
  • Prevents unsightly soap scum rings in the bathtub, stains and chalky deposits on hot and cold water fixtures
  • Dishwashers, in areas having very hard water, can cut detergent use by more than 50 percent after softening [Water Quality Association (2011) Softened Water Benefits Study. Lisle: WQA]
  • Reduces the build-up of scale deposits in all water-using appliances and hot water pipes
  • Prevents hard-to-remove spots and streaks on glassware and dishes
  • Prevents soap curd and detergent deposits on fabric
  • Prevents dull colors and graying or yellowing of white fabrics
  • In washing machines, can reduce detergent use by 50 percent and save energy by washing in 60ºF cold softened water instead of 100ºF hard hot water, achieving the same or better stain removal and whiter clothes compared to results in hard water.

How does a water softener work?

As water flows through the softener resin bed, and a process called ionic exchange occurs. The Resin beads come pre-charged with salt ions, and because the resin has a higher affinity for hardness ions than for salt ions, the resin will release the salt ions into the effluent water and will grab onto the hardness ions within close proximity. Over time the bed will reach a capacity where the resin is no longer able to remove hardness from the water. The softening system then needs to go through a regeneration cycle which will remove the hardness ions from the resin and will recharge the resin with salt ions. Softeners can either regenerate on a timed system, a gallon metered system, or a combination of the two. A full regeneration is accomplished through a series of cycles controlled by the softener valve and generally takes an hour and a half. 

Fresh Resin Media Vs Fouled Resin Media

The regeneration cycles of a water softener:

Backwash #1– The control valve directs a high flow of water in the opposite direction of the normal flow of the softener. For a downflow water softener, the backwash sends water rushing from the bottom of the tank to the top. This evacuates any suspended solids to the drain line and loosens the resin bed. 

Slow Brine Rinse– Control valve draws brine solution from the brine tank and permeates it through the resin bed. As this happens, salt ions overwhelm the resin beads and begin replacing the remaining hardness ions on the resin beads. . 

Backwash #2– The system will then go through a 2nd backwash which flushes out the final remaining hardness molecules and a good portion of the brine solution. 

Rapid Rinse– The control valve directs a large flow of water from the top of the tank to the bottom. This final rinse flushes out the rest of the brine solution and packs down the media bed before the system is put into service. 

Brine Fill– The softening valve will direct water to refill the brine tank. This water will then mix with the salt in the brine tank which in a short period of time, will create a brine solution which will then be used for the next regeneration process. 

A regeneration should occur when water is not being used. This is because the valve will bypass the system during a regeneration so any water being called to the house will be untreated. 2:00 am is a common time to schedule a regeneration because it is generally a time when no one is using water. Regardless, we can schedule the regeneration to meet your lifestyle needs.

How often should you be adding salt to the brine tank?

We generally find that softener owners will add a 40 lb – 50 lb bag of salt to the brine tank once per month. 

The amount of salt your water softening system uses in any given month depends on the amount of hardness in your water, your water usage, and your system design. Regardless, we suggest checking your brine tank salt level once a month. Try to keep salt above the water level and try not to fill the brine tank over ¾ of the way full. 

Basic Troubleshooting

If you are are noticing that you are getting iron staining or hardness build up, you will want to check the following:

  • Confirm that there is salt in the brine tank. Without a briney solution, the system cannot regenerate properly. 
  • Confirm that the time on the softener is correct. If the timer is not matching the current time of day, then your system may be regenerating when water is being used. 
  • See if there are any error codes on the softeners display screen (this is relevant for computerized systems.)

If everything seems to be in order, we will then need to schedule an onsite visit to determine if your raw water signature has changed or if there is a mechanical malfunction somewhere in your water treatment system. 

Water softeners are one of the most common forms of water treatment in the United States. They are tried and true. It is a piece of water technology that a homeowner benefits from every time water is used in the home. A water softener can be a valuable investment because it can help to protect your appliances, improve the function of your home, and can save you money in the long run. 

Every water source is different and may require different forms of treatment. We always recommend having an onsite evaluation and water test. If you have any questions about water softeners, or would like to schedule a no charge eval,  please give us a call at 603-868-3212.